Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Rant About Shopping Etiquette

I usually enjoy going grocery shopping however there are times when my patience is tested by other patrons who are not aware of supermarket etiquette or how to behave in public. Maybe I just have my own rules but then again what I think is proper decorum is not always shared by others.

I have some acquaintances who are anti Walmart and they are probably right about the "big box" stores squeezing out the smaller businesses in the area.When I shop at Walmart I have to adopt an approach of let's go on a safari. You never know what your're going to encounter there. Without sounding overly snobbish, some of the shoppers have issues regarding how they behave and also how they supervise their children. I figure half the time it's okay for me to be the one to yield right of way with my shopping cart so that would mean the other 50% of the time other people should do the same. I seem to run into a great deal of difficulty with this theory because apparently I'm the only one who values politeness and civility. I'll even joke with people when we almost collide, but for heaven's sake please get out of my way and pull your shopping cart over to the side so I can get by, thank you.

I also must comment on people's general appearance while out shopping.When I leave the house I give myself the once over making sure I don't look too bedraggled but I admit I'm probably a bit obsessed about always appearing presentable. You never know whom you might run into, so rather than be embarrassed I make sure my hair is combed, no large stains down the front of my shirt, and I have a bra on. I can't make other people care about how they dress but what about cleaning up a bit when you are going out in public to a store and wear enough clothes so everything isn't hanging out all over..... And would it be too much trouble to pay attention to your child who is misbehaving causing a scene about wanting chips or a soda and while out of control smashes into me and then the parent not even uttering "I'm sorry" or acting the slightest embarrassed by the child's temper tantrum.
( By the way I raised two of my own children and they will testify that at times I stopped taking them into stores when they couldn't behave themselves. I'm so mean.)

While I'm ranting about this, let's not forget to mention that giving people a few inches of space when you are in the same store aisle and it appears you might be both looking at the same item that it's okay to step back and occasionally acquiesce. Take a moment to be polite, someone like me might appreciate it or we can both laugh, but do not reach over me or try to budge into my space.

Did I just make up these rules arbitrarily? No, I really don't think so. Maybe how one is brought up may at times dictate how someone behaves in public. We all have different values and that is apparent. Maybe I should just stop shopping at Walmart however I think these crimes probably are quite prevalent in other shopping venues as well. Leave your kids home, put on some decent clothes, smile and try to be polite to other shoppers and I will try and do the same.


Madame DeFarge said...

Quite right too. I loathe supermarkets and resent the shuffle we all have to go through to buy our provisions. I hate having to wait in a queue with 10 people, while staff wander around looking anywhere but at the checkout.

And relax....

Amy said...

I send Tim. He doesn't get as annoyed as I do!

gaf85 said...

Madame, Shuffle is better than scuffle for sure.

Amy, He's a good husband!